"SURELY THE WRATH OF MAN SHALL PRAISE THEE"
Psalm lxxvi. 10

Robert Hawker
(1753-1827)


My soul! thou art returned from the exercises of the day;. exercises which sometimes are sharp and trying: come now into the pavilion and retirings of thy God in Christ, and take with thee this sweet scripture, and under his gracious teachings, see what beauties, by way of comfort, it affords. The Holy Ghost saith, "Surely the wrath of man shall praise the Lord." Pause, and consider in how many ways this blessed scripture proves itself. How often is the wrath of man made to minister to the happiness of God's people! How often do they become the unconscious ministers of producing the very reverse of what they intended: and where they designed evil to the saints of God, there good is found to come! When the Lord makes our friends, in the sweet endearments of society, promote our welfare, and we find blessings spring out of the thousand, and ten thousand charities of life; in providences, in helps, assistances, and the like, in which we minister by his appointment one to another; we do not so often trace the divine hand; and from the commonness of the blessing, lose sight of the direction whence it comes. But when the Lord, at any time, makes our enemies, and the enemies of our God and of his Christ, accomplish the secret purposes of his holy will; and those acts of theirs, which were evidently meant by them to distress, prove the very cause of joy; then we discern how the Lord overrules every thing to his glory, and his people's welfare. Here the Lord speaks in a loud voice, as in that sweet scripture, "In that day sing ye unto her, a vineyard of red wine. I, the Lord, do keep it. I will water it every moment, lest any hurt it; I will keep it night and day." Isaiah xxvii. 2, 3. My soul! learn from henceforth to be on the watch-tower, as the prophet was, looking for the evidences of these things. They will be very blessed, when at any time they are discovered; and, depend upon it, they are more frequent, than with thy poor thoughtless and inattentive mind thou art apt to suppose. Had not the brethren of Joseph sold him for a slave, how would he afterwards have arisen to be governor in Egypt? Had not Pharoah oppressed Israel, how would their cries to, God have called Him forth to their rescue? Had not that monster of iniquity pursued the people of God to the Red Sea, how would Israel have seen their foes dead on the shore? Nay, ascending to an infinitely higher and more momentous matter than all these, or every other in history put together, I would ask, had not the wrath of man nailed Jesus to the cross, how, my soul, wouldest thou, and all the ransomed church of Christ, have found redemption in his blood? Oh! for grace, ever to keep this in remembrance. Never, surely, did the wrath of men praise Jehovah in any equal degree, or was so made to minister to-the divine glory! Precious, precious Jesus! I beseech thee, gracious Lord, preserve alive in my soul, this contemplation of man's malice ministering to God's praise; that in all my little exercises here below, my soul may be stayed and comforted under them. And when at any time the enemy frowns, bad men afflict, the proud scorn, or the mighty of the earth would trample me under their feet, until in the bitterness of my heart, I cry out, "hath God forgotten to be gracious?" O for grace to cast one look at the cross of my Lord, and there read the whole explained: "Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee; the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain."

From the POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.

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Robert Hawker



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